The National Investigation Agency on Monday cleared four people, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, of charges in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast.
NIA, in its supplementary final report submitted to the special court in Jaipur, said that it is closing the case against Indresh Kumar and Sadhvi Pragya as the counter-terrorism agency couldn’t find enough evidence to build a case against the four.
“The NIA filed the closure report against Sadhvi Pragya Singh, Indresh Kumar, and two more men, Prince and Rajendra, in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. The court will decide on April 17 whether it will accept the report,” public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma said.
The NIA court expressed displeasure over agency's inability to track down three suspects — Sandeep Dange, Suresh Nair and Ram Chandra Kalsangra — who are still on the run.
Next hearing in the matter has been fixed for April 17.
On October 11, 2007, an explosion occurred in Dargah Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s courtyard in Ajmer in Rajasthan. The blasts took place just before ‘Iftar’ at the shrine that is popularly known as Ajmer Sharif. Reports said the blast claimed three lives and injured 17.
Initial investigations had pointed towards the hand of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba in the attack. However, later, the investigation turned towards members of the RSS.
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court found Sunil Joshi and Devendra Gupta guilty on charges of conspiracy and Bhavesh Bhai Patel was found guilty of planting the explosive on the blast site.
Joshi, a former RSS functionary, had died soon after the blasts. He was found shot dead in mysterious circumstances in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh and investigations by multiple agencies hinted it as an inside act, though the probe is still underway.
The court awarded life sentences to both Gupta and Patel for being found guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Codi (IPC), Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The acquittals in the case were given on “benefit of doubt.” At least a dozen witnesses turned hostile during the trial.
The high-profile case was taken over by the NIA from the Rajasthan anti-terror squad. The NIA filed three supplementary chargesheets in the case and it was fast-tracked after the BJP government came to power in 2014. Initially, the involvement was suspected of Islamist terror groups but after a confession by Swami Aseemanand, the investigation shifted to Hindu right-wing groups.